Baring any unforeseen circumstances, Sokoto State House of Assembly is set to get a bill on social protection policy for deliberation in the state.
The bill is designed to guarantee good living conditions for the citizens of the state where their welfare which includes access to health, education among others will be guaranteed.
Speaking with newsmen after a three days workshop organized by the United Nations joint SDG programme in collaboration with Sokoto State Ministry of Budget and Planning, UNICEF social protection specialist, Faizal Badmas Busari, said the policy is being implemented in 35 different countries including Nigeria.
Faizal, who is also the programme manager for the UN-joint SDG programme said the programme which is a two years term and expecting to end next year.
“It is a programme designed to operationalized social protection policy in Sokoto and institutionalized same in Nigeria.
“Sokoto is chosen as the pilot state in the country where others will come here to learn about the policy for implementation in their various states.
“At the federal government level, we are working on developing a social protection bill and we are with the ministry of Justice with high hope of having it done.”
Also speaking, the programme policy officer of the capacity building of Work Food Programme, Akeem Ajibola, says the project is a joint united nations project on social protection to address a lot of vulnerability in the state and the country at large.
He reemphasized that WFP is to support the state in enabling it to carry out effective cash base transfer which he described as the major component of social protection.
He further said the use of cash transfer for social protection will help to address the issue of vulnerability in society, if well implemented.
He said the institutionalization of the policy will make the sustainability of the programme a reality in the state while partners agency will continue to offer their support.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Usman Arzika Bodinga, commend all the partners’ agencies working in the state in impacting positively on the lives of the citizens of the state.
Talking about the bill, he accused the previous administration did not do what was expected of them in terms of social protection.
“If the previous administration in the state had done what was expected of them, the state would not be where it is today.
“Once this bill is passed, it will not be only for the benefits of this current government but also for the successive ones in the state.”
He further assured that the state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, was very keen on supporting the programme, saying he always make payment of counterpart funding as at when due.
Earlier in his submission, a member of the state house of assembly representing Gada constituency, Honourable Kabiru Dauda, assured that the state assembly will ensure quick passage of the bill.
The lawmaker who is also the House committee chairman on social welfare and poverty eradication commends the organizers of the workshop which he described as timely.
Another lawmaker who represents Sabon Birni state constituency, Honourable Aminu Almustapha, no who spoke at the event disclosed that the house will extend every required support to ensure quick passage of the bill.
He said the bill when passed into law will address over 30,000 people in Sabon Birni whom he said were taking refugees in Sabon Birni town after being displaced from their towns.
Other speakers at the workshop include representatives of other partners agencies such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) as well as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Others incudes Dr Sunday Alonge who is supporting the state technical team, representative of the Sultanate council. Alhaji Jabi Kilgori, top civil servants drawn from different departments in the state, civil society organizations and representatives of people living with disabilities among other stakeholders.
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